Written by Wilbert Baan
Today is the day of the US elections. I don’t think we ever had a live event on the web that will get so much live coverage. This means incredible amounts of information will be published over all kind of services and social networks. Websites like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, WordPress, Blogger and many more.
Most popular web services have programmable interfaces. These interfaces allow developers to extract information out of the system. This creates a whole new genre of storytelling: storytelling with public databases. You can aggregate the information you need and sort it the way you want.
When I made the first the first animation Erik Borra replied by developing the idea into something that stores the data retrieved from Twitter in a database. I made a new interface that shows a graph based on what people say they voted on Twitter. And the result is a Twitter Poll.
These three examples are not representative data, it is extracted from Twitter. But it shows you how much personal and valuable information is in the public database. All you have to do is ask yourself what you want to tell to your readers and if this information is available.
This animation gets the latest twitter message where someone says they voted on McCain or Obama. It automatically refreshes.
What Twitter votes
In this animation Erik Borra stores the “I voted” messages in a central database. And I made a visual interface for the data. Obama is popular on Twitter. Refresh the window to see if results changed.
In this animation you can click on keywords to construct a query. It searches the Twitter database for matching Twitter messages.